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Last night, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm Emanuel’s brother and one of President Obama’s health insurance reform advisors, got caught spinning himself into the ground. About 3:15 into this video, Dr. Emanuel did some fancy tapdancing:

Here’s the confrontation between Megyn Kelly and Dr. Emanuel:

MEGYN KELLY: 5,000,000 people have already been cancelled so I’m not talking about the 7,000,000 people you guys are talking about.
DR. EMANUEL: That’s not a reliable number.
MEGYN KELLY: It’s at least 3,000,000 and the reports out tonight are that it’s closer to 5,000,0000.
DR. EMANUEL: Only on Fox is it 5,000,000.

It’s totally predictable that Dr. Emanuel would resort to that tactic when trapped. Dr. Emanuel was part of the original staff in the White House that insisted that Fox News wasn’t a real news station. With that bunch, which included Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, Anita Dunn and David Plouffe, their first mission was to totally discredit Fox News. They failed in that attempt. That isn’t the important part of the interview, though. This is:

DR. EMANUEL: No, that’s not right, Megyn. You’ve got the numbers wrong. 7,000,000 includes the people who were expected from the individual market…

President Obama stated emphatically and repeatedly that people could keep their health plans if they liked it and that they could keep their doctors if they liked them. Last week, he said that people could keep their health care plan if they liked their plan and it met the Obama administration standards. Those statements are opposites. If one is true, the other can’t be true. This quote seems appropriate here:

What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

At the Health Care Summit in Feb., 2010, Eric Cantor predicted that 7,000,000-8,000,000 people in the individual markets would lose their policies if the bill didn’t get changed. At the time, President Obama admitted that would happen, adding that people losing their policies would be able to replace those policies with better, less expensive policies.

One thing that’s been totally clear from the start has been Republicans’ contempt for the Affordable Care Act. George Will expressed it beautifully during last night’s SROnline show after the broadcast show. Here’s what Mr. Will said that I totally agree with:

This poor devil, like the other poor devils in 49 other states, is subject to a dumb law that prevents people from shopping for insurance across state lines. Turn on your TV tonight. You’re gonna see State Farm, GEICO, All State, Progressive. You don’t see that in health care because state legislatures want us captive so they can force us to buy things we don’t want to buy.

That’s one of the good things about this — well, there’s 2 good things — Juan regrets the loss of confidence. I’m for a loss of confidence in this type of government. What we need is far less of this type of government.

Here’s Juan Williams’ response to George Will, followed by Will’s response to Williams:

WILLIAMS: I know what you’re winning about. You’re trying to scuttle the whole thing.
WILL: Correct.

This is important. Republicans should learn from Mr. Will. First, don’t hesitate in stating your informed opinion why the Affordable Care Act should be scuttled. The key is having an informed opinion. Cookie cutter or tit-for-tat criticism of the ACA won’t suffice. Confidently explaining the different ways that the ACA is hurting families, especially middle class families, is a political winner because it’s a substantive winner. This isn’t about good politics or partisanship.

Opposing the ACA is the right thing to do because it isn’t delivering, indeed can’t deliver, on the major promises of insuring everyone and lowering health care costs.

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This video is a how-to instructional on how to play a bad hand poorly:

First, it’s amazing how shrill the Democrats are. The American people have tuned House Democrats out, starting with Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer. Here’s what Hoyer said:

HOYER: It is a blatant attempt at hostage-taking.

After that, Ms. Pelosi added this:

PELOSI: What is brought to the floor today is, without a doubt, without a doubt, a measure designed to shut down government.

Hoyer is disgraceful. What’s worse is that his mini-diatribe fits with what a drama queen, not a congressman, would say. Unfortunately, it fits with language from President Obama’s whining diatribe in Kansas City, MO. As for Ms. Pelosi’s whining, she knows there won’t be a shutdown. Talk about a shutdown is just that: talk. It’s all about the things the DC echochamber repeats, not what Main Street America thinks about.

The reality is that people want the PPACA repealed. They’ve wanted that since the bill was passed. In fact, the ercentage of people that didn’t want it passed pretty much equals the percentage of people that want it repealed.

During his presentation in KS Friday, President Obama accused Republicans of attempting to mess with him:

“They’re not focused on you,” the president told about 2,000 Ford autoworkers gathered on the floor of the stamping plant. “They’re focused on politics. They’re focused on trying to mess with me.”

The dirty little secret is that President Obama isn’t focused on the middle class. He’s focused on not having his signature legislation, a bill the American people didn’t want, defunded. A hour before the start of a new fiscal year, a continuing resolution will be passed, which President Obama will sign.

The other thing that isn’t being highlighted by the dead tree media is something that Eric Cantor said yesterday:

Speaking at a rally where Republican leaders cheered the House’s passage of a government spending bill that would permanently strip funding from the Affordable Care Act, Cantor called out by name each red state Senate Democrat facing reelection: Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Kay Hagan (N.C.). As the majority leader asked what those Democrats were doing to protect their states from Obamacare, audience members cheered loudly and applauded his remarks.

“Many Senate Republicans have promised to leave no stone unturned in fighting for this bill, and all of us here support that effort,” Cantor said. “We are calling on Senate Democrats to do the same thing.”

“I want to know where Senator Pryor stands on protecting the middle class,” he added. “How about Kay Hagan in North Carolina? Does she understand the consequences that Obamacare is having in her state?”

“What about Mary Landrieu of Louisiana?” Cantor continued. “And finally, what about Mark Begich of Alaska? … Will he vote to keep Obamacare in place?”

Cantor has disappointed conservatives for not enthusiastically backing the defund Obamacare legislation. That criticism is justified. Still, he’s right to highlight these vulnerable Democrats’ votes right before fighting to win uphill re-election fights. That, more than anything else, is what these votes are about.

The other thing President Obama doesn’t want America focusing on is the fact that he shoved the PPACA down Americans’ throats, thanks in large part to Harry Reid’s and Nancy Pelosi’s arm-twisting. Americans hate each of the major provisions in the PPACA, from the tax increases to the individual and employer mandates. They don’t like the skyrocketing premiums, either.

Apparently, President Obama doesn’t care about that. President Obama cares about saving face. There’s no proof that the PPACA will lower health care costs, give people health care or insure more people.

For all of their drama queen language, President Obama, Ms. Pelosi and Steny Hoyer know what will happen. Thanks to the GOP hardliners, vulnerable Democrats have to vote for an unpopular bill heading into an election year.

That’s why Democrats are whining like drama queens.
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According to TPM, This administration is yapping that not taking his American Jobs Act seriously will cost Republicans in the next election:

The White House Monday continued its war of words with House Republicans over their unwillingness to move his entire jobs package, confidently vowing to let voters decide how to react to Republicans’ refusal to pass provisions such as infrastructure spending and retaining teachers.

“Congress can take it up, vote on it…then if there’s a desire to take things out, we would accept that although we would not be satisfied by that…[President Obama] would say, ‘Where’s the rest of it? What about teachers and construction workers…or incentives to hire veterans?” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters during a briefing Monday.

This is laughable. President Obama can’t talk Senate Democrats into sponsoring his bill. Harry Reid is saying that it’ll be awhile before the bill gets consideration. In fact, it was reported that Democrats didn’t even have enough Democrat votes to reach a simple majority at a time when they need 60 votes to pass it.

It’s difficult taking seriously a man’s threats when his own political party isn’t enthusiastically supporting him.

Nothing’s changed since the last hard poll, aka the last election. That election was mostly seen as an emphatic refutation of this administration’s policies.

Considering the fact that people trust Republicans more than Democrats on the issues of the economy, the debt and spending, why should Republicans worry? When the campaigns kick in in earnest next year, Republicans will publish both their vision going forward and the lengthy list of legislation that they passed as solutions for America’s most difficult problems.

It’d be different if Republicans were doing nothing except rejecting President Obama’s initiatives. Though that’s this administration’s storyline, it isn’t reality. When the reality is ‘published’ in campaign commercials, the results will be predictable: a bad election cycle for Democrats will turn into a rout.

It isn’t like much of President Obama’s Son of Stimulus is popular. It isn’t like a person’s going to go into the voting booth and say “my congressman didn’t vote for the infrastructure repairs in the American Jobs Act. I simply can’t vote for him.”

There’s a couple of nice ideas in the legislation but there isn’t a thing in the bill that’s a vote-changer. The only exception to that is the debt that this bill will create.

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This article says President Obama is frustrated with Congress. Speaking on behalf of the majority of the American people, We The People are frustrated that President Obama ignored the economy during the first half of his term in office.

President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign sent an email to campaign supporters under his name Wednesday with the subject line “frustrated”, critiquing Congress for failing to focus on the critical issues facing the country.

“It’s been a long time since Congress was focused on what the American people need them to be focused on. I know that you’re frustrated by that. I am, too,” the message said, adding that Obama will lay out his own proposals in a speech to Congress next week.

The standoffish email says Obama will push Congress to act, but “whether they will do the job they were elected to do is ultimately up to them.”

President Obama’s whining is getting tiring. He’s whining that Republicans aren’t focusing on creating jobs. That’s insulting.

President Obama spent his first 2 years in office essentially ignoring the economy. Congress passed a stimulus bill right after President Obama’s inauguration. The next thing he tackled was health care. He didn’t return to creating jobs after that.

He’s talked about pivoting to jobs so many times that people are tired of the speeches.

We’ve reached the point where we need him to stop implementing policies that hurt robust job growth. He’s unleashed the EPA to essentially destroy the coal-mining industry. He’s unleashed the NLRB to destroy Boeing’s attempt to build luxury jetliners in right-to-work South Carolina.

They’re still writing the regulations for Dodd-Frank, which isn’t helping create jobs. Obamacare is a regulatory and tax increase nightmare.

What’s worst is that President Obama thinks people still trust in his ability to create jobs. We don’t to the tune of 26% approve, 71% don’t approve. He either thinks people still trust him or he’s pretending to think we still trust him.

Thankfully, the Republican House of Representatives will pass a competing set of job-creating economic legislation:

Cantor vowed to pursue a “steady repeal” of select regulations to empower businesses to kick up hiring. He listed 10 in particular, many dealing with Environmental Protection Agency policies, including new requirements on employers using boilers, and regulations affecting cement plants.

The EPA has absolutely killed jobs. If they hadn’t pursued such a radical agenda, we’d be consistently creating jobs. What’s more is that we’d be creating alot of jobs this month.

President Obama’s tanking job approval ratings are the direct result of the American people’s rejection of his economic agenda.

Another thing that’s galling is that President Obama says he’ll present a list of bipartisan measures in next week’s ‘Pivot to jobs’ speech. (I think that’s PTJ 9.0) As usual, President Obama thinks that he’s the arbiter of all things extreme and mainstream.

We The People don’t trust his judgment on what’s extreme and what’s mainstream. We’ll trust our judgment on what’s mainstream and what isn’t.

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I didn’t know this but after reading this post on TPM, I’m informed that an anti-earmark hysteria is sweeping through the GOP in DC. If TPM is declaring it, then it must be true.

After all, it isn’t like TPMDC is some far left, Soros-funded, distribute-the-wealth website that used to accept everything that proceeded from President Obama’s or Speaker Pelosi’s mouth as gospel fact.

On second though, I’d better retract those opening paragraphs.

Here’s TPM’s declaration:

“if you look at non-security, then it’s about $88 billion, or about 20 percent below what’s in the omnibus [spending bill],” says Jim Horney, a fiscal policy expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The omnibus spending bill, which would have funded the federal government through September 2011, died in the Senate last week, a victim of the anti-earmark hysteria that’s overcome the GOP.

I would’ve sworn that Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker piled tons of earmarks into last week’s defeated omnibus spending bill. I must’ve gotten that wrong.

The basis for TPM’s diatribe is the House GOP’s reiteration that they intend on following through on significant budget cuts:

This week, Congress is expected to continue funding the government at current levels through early March, at which point a newly Republican House of Representatives will get to take an axe to the federal budget. Naturally, they’re promising dramatic cuts in non-defense spending.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen here today, or tomorrow, or Sunday in terms of how we keep the government funded,” said soon-to-be House Speaker John Boehner at his weekly press conference last week. “But what I can tell you is all you have to do is go to the Pledge to America and we outline pretty…clearly that we believe that spending at ’08 levels is more than sufficient to run the government.”

One of the line items that the House GOP plans on not including in the omnibus is the $1,000,000,000 in funding for implementing Obamacare. With the GOP being unwilling to implement Obamacare and with public opinion consistently saying they favor repeal of Obamacare, the likelihood of that being defunded appears to be strong.

The midterms proved that there’s a great hunger for getting spending under control. Starting today, I’ll start refering to this midterm as the election where voters said they wanted the deficits brought under control by Congress cutting spending.

At one of the presidential debates, then-Sen. Obama said that there was a need to cut spending but not with a cleaver “but with a scalpel.” After the Obama/Pelosi/Reid spending binge, I’d argue that it’s time to get out the meat cleavers because spending increased at unsustainable rates.

This wasn’t just a matter of degrees in spending. This was a spending binge of historic proportions. This isn’t something where a little trimming around the edges will fix things. This is the type of spending binge where eliminating spending increases from 2009-2010 are perfectly in order.

I wrote in this post about the Heritage Foundation’s spending cuts. Based on the descriptions of what’s being cut, I’d argue that cutting these items would barely be noticed by the general public.

It’s time that the Democrats realized that a) this election’s message was that they spent way too much money in way too short a period of time and b) this is the start of the sane reaction to their spending overreaction.

In short, it’s time that Democrats got over it.

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The latest MPR polling that shows Sen. Dayton tied with Rep. Emmer isn’t good news for Sen. Dayton. Some lefty bloggers see this as proof of Sen. Dayton winning. I don’t know how they reached that conclusion but it’s the wrong conclusion.

One lefty post cited an oversampling of Republicans as a polling flaw. That’s a legitimate point if you’re basing it solely off of party registration. After filtering it through the enthusiasm gap currently favoring Republicans, that oversampling might not mean much.

Here’s MNPublius’ take:

First of all, it was a somewhat small sample of 750 people, with an estimated margin of error of 5.3 percentage points. That means one candidate could have as much as a 10-point lead, even if that is fairly unlikely. Even worse is the methodology: The poll was based on a “landline, random-digit dial survey.”

Landline? Are you kidding me? I wonder how many younger voters were missed. Not having a landline, I could never have been contacted for this poll.

Had this been 2008 & they were polling for President Obama, I’d say that the youth votes missed would’ve been significant. Since this is a poll measuring the 2010 gubernatorial race featuring Sen. Dayton, I’m betting that number is tiny.

I’d also argue that this shouldn’t be that close of a race considering the fact that Tom Emmer’s been badly outspent. The Dayton shadow campaign’s negative ads aren’t having the effect that the Dayton family was hoping for.

It’s my opinion that Mitch Berg’s exposing ABM as the Dayton shadow campaign has created a backlash against ABM & against Sen. Dayton. I’d bet that unafilliated voters especially don’t like that type of dirty tricks campaigning.

When Sen. Dayton called for keeping the campaign focused on the issues, the Minnesota Republican Party highlighted the fact that the Dayton family had funded the dirty advertising campaign against Tom Emmer. I’m betting that the Dayton campaign’s dirty tricks have created a backlash against Sen. Dayton.

It’s also worth noting that the Emmer plan for restructuring government will come out soon. When that happens, there’s bound to be alot of scrutiny of the plan. When people find out that Rep. Emmer is the only candidate that’s serious about keeping government costs down, that’s going to have a positive impact which will favor the Emmer campaign.

While it’s true that the horserace numbers show a tie, the undelying campaign indicators favor Tom Emmer. The Dayton campaign should be worried about this poll.

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After reading this article and after following this race closely for the last 6 months, it’s time to make a statement about the Florida Senate race.

It’s time for Gov. Crist to do the honorable thing and drop out of the race entirely. Running as an independent won’t help Gov. Crist win. It will only burn the bridges he’s built within the Republican Party of Florida.

Yes, I know about the poll showing Crist with a tiny, inside-the-margin lead in a 3-way race between Gov. Crist. Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek. As Gov. Crist knows, that lead is misleading because it’s a sample of registered voters, not likely voters.

Gov. Crist knows firsthand that there’s a huge intensity gap between Marco Rubio, Gov. Crist and Kendrick Meek and that that enthusiasm gap strongly favors Marco Rubio.

If Gov. Crist opts for running as an independent, the NRSC will support Marco Rubio:

The toughest assessment came from the arm of the national Republican Party that had clamored to endorse Crist and shove aside rival Republican Marco Rubio nearly one year ago, when their positions in the polls were reversed.

“We believe there is zero chance Gov. Crist continues running in the Republican primary,” said Rob Jesmer, executive director of the National Republican Senate Committee, in a memo. “It is our view that if Gov. Crist believes he cannot win a primary, then the proper course of action is he drop out of the race and wait for another day.”

The memo added that Texas Sen. John Cornyn, NRSC chairman, would have delivered the advice personally, if Crist had returned his phone call.

Gov. Crist knows that this is his high-water mark in a three-way race. After this, the GOP endorsements will go to Marco Rubio. Eric Cantor’s endorsement of Mr. Rubio this morning is proof of that:

Miami, FL – Today, U.S. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced his endorsement of Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate. As the Republican Whip, Congressman Cantor is the second highest-ranking Republican in the United States House of Representatives.

“We are a nation at a crossroads, and we need responsible leadership in Washington. Marco Rubio is just the type of leader our country needs and will make an excellent Senator for the State of Florida. The Obama Administration is working hand-in-hand with Senate Leader Reid and House Speaker Pelosi to fundamentally change the America we know and love.

“Washington spends way too much, and Marco understands the need for a limited but effective government. He knows that it’s not enough just to talk about ending government waste, but that actions are needed to begin to erase our deficits and free our children from our debt. This Administration’s policies have put a squeeze on our nation’s job creators and entrepreneurs, and Marco will help fight for pro-growth policies that empower the American entrepreneur and small business people to thrive and create sustainable jobs.

“When it comes to defending our country, I know that Marco understands the differences between America’s friends and its foes. We can trust Marco Rubio to take an aggressive stance against radical jihadism and strongly defend America’s special relationship with Israel. America needs energetic, smart, responsible leaders to start making sure that Washington once again starts working for the people, and Marco will play a big part in that effort.”

With Congressman Cantor’s announcement, Marco said, “I’m proud to have Congressman Cantor’s support and his endorsement. He has been a leader in not only standing up to the Obama agenda but also offering clear conservative alternatives. When Charlie Crist and President Obama were campaigning together for the stimulus, Eric was rallying Republicans to stand united and offering conservative alternatives that would have cost less but created jobs. We need leaders in Washington that can be trusted to stand with conservative leaders like Congressman Cantor, instead of joining President Obama to support wasteful stimulus spending, costly cap-and-trade energy taxes, higher taxes and even greater debt.”

Congressman Cantor is a fifth-term congressman representing the Seventh District of Virginia. In December 2008, he was elected to serve as the Republican Whip. Cantor is one of a new breed of top young conservative leaders, who, as the Republican Whip, has helped lead the fights against the Democrats’ wasteful stimulus, cap-and-trade and out-of-control spending. He also holds a seat on the House Ways and Means Committee and serves as Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.

Eric Cantor knows a bit about fiscal conservatives and limited government because he’s got a great track record on those issues. In addition to his votes for fiscal discipline, Rep. Cantor has played an integral role in getting every Republican to vote against Obamacare, Cap And Trade, the Stimulus and the Omnibus spending bills funding government.

Rep. Cantor knows that re-inforcements are needed in the Senate. That’s why he’s endorsing Marco Rubio. He knows that Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, John Barrasso and other fiscal conservatives need company.

From here on out, Crist has to know that he’s gotten his last GOP endorsement. He’s got to know that his message isn’t resonating with Floridians. All he has left is cash on hand. When you don’t have an appealing message, that cash won’t help.

It’s time for Gov. Crist to bow out gracefully. Otherwise, his political career will be over this November.

UPDATE: John McCain just announced that he won’t support Gov. Crist if Gov. Crist runs as an independent. Should Gov. Crist run as an independent, he’ll do so without the blessing of GOP moderates.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

When I read this article, I couldn’t believe the things I was reading. Once I read this editorial, I had the right perspective. First, let’s look at Colbert King’s outrageous comparisons:

The angry faces at Tea Party rallies are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street at the University of Alabama in 1956 as Autherine Lucy, the school’s first black student, bravely tried to walk to class.

Those same jeering faces could be seen gathered around the Arkansas National Guard troopers who blocked nine black children from entering Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957.

“They moved closer and closer,” recalled Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine. “Somebody started yelling, ‘Lynch her! Lynch her!’ I tried to see a friendly face somewhere in the crowd, someone who maybe could help. I looked into the face of an old woman and it seemed a kind face, but when I looked at her again, she spat on me.”

Those were the faces I saw at a David Duke rally in Metairie, La., in 1991: sullen with resentment, wallowing in victimhood, then exploding with yells of excitement as the ex-Klansman and Republican gubernatorial candidate spewed vitriolic white-power rhetoric.

People like that old woman in Little Rock, the Alabama mob that hounded Autherine Lucy, the embracers of Duke’s demagoguery in Louisiana, never go away.

Considering the fact that Andrew Breitbart has offered to publish videotaped proof of any misbehavior and to contribute $10,000 to the United Negro College Fund if proof is produced, I’m skeptical of the Democrats’ accusations. The House Democrats leadership’s comments don’t reduce my skepticism:

House Majority leader Steny H. Hoyer claimed that Democrats faced threats of violence in their home districts. He demanded that Republicans take a stand against it. “Silence gives consent,” added Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, who accused Republicans of “aiding and abetting this kind of terrorism.” Democrats promptly exploited their own fear-mongering by rushing out a fundraising letter.

Rep. Clyburn says that “silence gives consent.” Let’s take him at his word this time. I don’t recall anyone in the Democratic leadership speaking out against the threats that Bart Stupak got when he was opposing the Democrats’ health care bill. The threats that were reported last week were made before Rep. Stupak flipped. In fact, it isn’t a stretch to think that Rep. Stupak was threatened into flipping to supporting a pro-abortion bill.

Based on the Democrats’ silence while progressive health care activists’ threatened Rep. Stupak, I’d argue that James Clyburn, Steny Hoyer and Speaker Pelosi consented to the threats against Rep. Stupak.

Unlike the threats alleged to have been committed by TEA Party activists, there is verifiable proof of threats against Rep. Stupak and Eric Cantor. The bullet recovered from Rep. Cantor’s campaign office is very real.

Tea Party members, as with their forerunners who showed up at the University of Alabama and Central High School, behave as they do because they have been culturally conditioned to believe they are entitled to do whatever they want, and to whomever they want, because they are the “real Americans,” while all who don’t think or look like them are not.

The Democrats ignored the opinions of the American people, who loudly, clearly and consistently told the Democrats that they didn’t want this health care bill but it’s TEA Party activists who “believe they are entitled to do whatever they want, and to whomever they want”? Let’s remember that it wasn’t TEA Party activists that beat Kenneth Gladney in St. Louis. It was SEIU thugs.

It’s interesting that King doesn’t mention the fact that George Wallace was a Democrat when he talked about the commonality between Wallace and TEA Party activists. Then again, progressives don’t like mentioning that tons of Democrats were racists in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

According to Scott Rasmussen’s polling, President Obama’s popularity keeps sinking:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -20. For President Obama, the Approval Index has been lower only once.

It isn’t likely that President Obama’s approval ratings will enjoy a significant upswing anytime soon. His performance yesterday was as usual: condescending, scolding and ill-tempered. Charles Krauthammer said it perfectly during last night’s roundtable, saying that with the presidency comes Air Force One and a private chef but it doesn’t make you the arbiter of what’s legitimate and what’s a prop.

I’m kinda curious what people think about the theory I’m working on, namely that Harry Reid’s and Speaker Pelosi’s incompetence, while not the main cause of his unpopularity, is contributing to his unpopularity.

Yesterday’s winners include the GOP campaign committees, Paul Ryan, Lamar Alexander, Tom Coburn, Dave Camp, Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl. Yesterday’s losers include, in my opinion, were President Obama, Harry Reid and Max ‘We’re not that far apart’ Baucus.

In my opinion, President Obama took the biggest hit because Paul Ryan, Dave Camp and Eric Cantor all looked more knowledgeable than President Obama on reducing health care and health insurance costs and deficit reduction. Mssrs. Ryan and Camp did a great job of highlighting that the Medicare cuts weren’t to strengthen Medicare solvency but that the cuts went to pay for another entitlement.

If I were advising the campaign committees, I’d tell them to turn those exchanges into campaign commercials that run daily the last month of the campaign. The other thing that can’t be ignored is that people who watched the summit, whether they watched a little bit or most of it, heard the Republicans’ ideas. The people that heard those ideas will start asking why Republicans had been shut out of the process thus far.

More importantly, they’ll ask why the Republicans’ ideas haven’t been incorporated into the legislation. The Democrats don’t have a defense for that question. By not including Republican ideas in the legislation, the Democrats will look overly partisan, which will hurt. While the American people will tolerate some partisanship, they won’t tolerate that level of partisanship.

The bottom line is that the Democrats’ election chances are sinking and they aren’t likely to improve. If President Obama doesn’t change course, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him be a one-term wonder.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Though I didn’t get to watch the entire summit, what I did see impressed me. Going in, I knew I’d be confident that John Kline, Eric Cantor, Dave Camp and Paul Ryan would be persuasive. They didn’t disappoint in that respect.

Paul Ryan was particularly persuasive. His dissertation on the CBO’s deficit projections was a thing of beauty. When Xavier Becerra tried accusing Ryan of criticizing the CBO, Ryan’s strong response quickly forced Becerra to quickly backpedal. Here’s that exchange:

BECERRA: Mr. President, thank you very much for bringing us all together. I do want to address something that my friend, Paul Ryan, said, because I almost think that we can’t have this discussion any further without addressing something Paul said.

Paul, you called into question the Congressional Budget Office. Now, we could all agree to disagree. We could all have our politics, but if there’s no referee on the field, we can never agree how the game should be played.

RYAN: Let me clarify just to be clear.

BECERRA: No, no, let me…if I could just finish. And so I think we have to decide, do we believe in the Congressional Budget Office or not? Because Paul, you and I have sat on the Budget Committee for years together and you have on any number of occasions in those years cited the Congressional Budget Office to make your point, referred to the Congressional Budget Office’s projections to make your point. And today, you essentially said you can’t trust the Congressional Budget Office.

RYAN: No, that is not what I’m saying.

BECERRA: Well, that was my interpretation. I apologize if I misinterpreted.

RYAN: I am not questioning the quality of their scoring. I am questioning the reality of their scoring.

BECERRA: If I could just finish my — OK. I — I take your point on your clarification.

As good as Congressman Ryan’s exchange was with Rep. Becerra, Eric Cantor’s substantive criticism of the Senate health care bill was even better. Here’s a portion of Cantor’s criticism:

So…but I do want to go back to your suggestion as to why we’re here. And you suggested that maybe we are here to find some points of agreement to bridge the gap in our differences. And I do like…to go back to basics, we’re here because we Republicans care about health care just as the Democrats in this room.

And when the speaker cites her letters from the folks in Michigan and the leader talks about the letters he’s received, Mr. Andrews his, all of us share the concerns when people are allegedly wronged in our health care system.

I mean, I think that is sort of a given.

We don’t care for this bill. I think you know that. The American people don’t care for the bill. I think that we demonstrated, you know, in the polling that they don’t.

But there is…there is a reason why we all voted no. And it does have to do with the philosophical difference that you point out. It does have to do with our fear that if you say that Washington can be the one to define essential health benefits, there may be a problem with that.

And that’s the language in the Section 1302 of this bill, that it says that the secretary shall define for people what essential health benefits are.

I’m certain that the American people agree with Rep. Cantor. I’m certain that they don’t trust Washington with setting the right regulations, especially when the legislation cedes all authority to the HHS secretary. I’m betting that the American people aren’t comfortable handing that much authority to an unelected official.

Dave Camp also skewered President Obama with his presentation:

CAMP: Thank you, Leader Boehner. And thank you, Mr. President, for the invitation today.

I think as we focus this part of the conversation on cost, a lot of Americans say to me, “If you’re really interested in controlling costs, well, maybe you shouldn’t be spending a trillion dollars on health care, as the Senate and House bills do.”

Also, cutting Medicare benefits by a half-trillion dollars to fund this new entitlement is I think a step in the wrong direction, and many Americans do as well. The nonpartisan actuaries at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services say on page four of their letter on the Senate-passed bill that it would bend the cost curve in the wrong direction by about a quarter-trillion dollars. They specifically say the health expenditures under the Senate bill would increase by $222 billion.

A key way of reducing costs that’s missing from the House and Senate bills is responsible lawsuit reform that guarantees injured parties, much like our two largest states have adopted, Texas and California, access to all economic damages such as future medical care. If they need nursing care in the future, they’ll get it, lost wages, reasonable awards for punitive damages and pain and suffering.

Again, I’m betting that most people would agree with Rep. Camp that lawsuit abuse reform must be part of any health care legislation. Camp and Ryan also did a great job of highlighting the fact that Democrats are cutting Medicare with the intent of using that money to pay for a new entitlement. It’s one thing to cut Medicare to strengthen it long term. It’s unacceptable to cut Medicare to pay for a new entitlement because that would make Medicare less solvent while creating a new entitlement at a time when entitlement reform is badly needed.

The Democrats’ storyline of Republicans being the Party of No was demolished, too, though I’d be surprised if they didn’t play that card again. It just won’t have any credibility. Yesterday, America got to see the Republicans’ poise, their ideas and their solutions. I think they did themselves an immense amount of good for November.

This was likely the first time America got to see John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and Dave Camp. They now can picture them as credible alternatives to Speaker Pelosi’s leadership team.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative